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Shell & Bones Oyster Bar & Grill | New Haven, CT

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar & Grill | New Haven, CT

Creating Its Own Food Culture in New Haven

In just a year’s time, Chef Arturo Franco Camacho and his crew at Shell & Bones are making waves on Water Street in New Haven, Connecticut. As the name indicates, the food focus here is on seafood and steak. Chef Camacho insists upon utilizing fresh and sustainable ingredients. All soups, stocks, sauces and desserts are made in-house under the watchful eye of the chef.

“Even as a little boy growing up in Tijuana, I loved to cook,” Chef Camacho said. He left Mexico 25 years ago, traveling and cooking in Spain, France and England. He spent five years as chef de cuisine onboard the Queen Elizabeth 2. A veteran of the Connecticut food scene, he operated several of his own successful restaurants before signing on as executive chef for the opening of Shell & Bones in July 2015.

“I love this place,” Chef Camacho said. “Our customers bring us energy with their enthusiasm for our concept and our food. We are creating our own culture here, right on the waters of Long Island Sound. The view is absolutely therapeutic.” And the food is very well received. Shell & Bones was recently rated “very good” by the New York Times, and named one of the “Best New Restaurants” by the editors of Connecticut Magazine. Chef Camacho’s style reinterprets many classic recipes, while creating new favorites and award winners, such as the clam chowder, which won “The Big Taste Competition of Greater New Haven.”

Steak gets equal billing with seafood at Shell & Bones. The Prime Rib is served with foie gras butter, caramelized onions and fingerling potatoes with chorizo. The Braised Short Ribs with BBQ Jumbo Shrimp get a little heat from Thai spices and a little sweetness from BBQ sauce. The Steak Frites come with a wine reduction sauce, and are accompanied by creamed spinach, caramelized onion and truffle dusted pommes frites. Filet Mignon gets the royal treatment with asparagus, crab meat and Béarnaise sauce. Prime New York Strip is complemented by Cipollini bacon sauce and a sliced baked potato. The menu lists a choice of sauces to provide dining options, including Béarnaise, horseradish, lemon soy or brown butter.

The three partners who own Shell & Bones -- Daniel Kay, Marc Knight and Robert Bolduc – wanted the restaurant design to pay homage to the area’s nautical history, while offering their patrons a light and airy space with clean lines, amazing water views, ocean breezes and a fireplace for those chilly nights. Mix in the talents of their world-class chef, and you have all of the elements for some of the best waterfront dining in Connecticut.

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